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Photography Question 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004

Photographing Hummingbirds

I spent much of today doing one of my favorite things photographing birds. The bird that has left me very frustrated is the tiny Ruby Throated Hummingbird see images here. If you look at the 3 images you will see that none of them are sharp and all leave a great deal to be desired. All were shot at 1000sec to try to stop movement or at least to avoid the blur that you see. I used a 70-500 Sigma lens set between 350-500 depending upon time and shot. I can push the shutter speed higher, but I am not sure that this is going to eliminate the nasty softness. I also may be able to move a bit closer, but even then I am not sure that this will give me the desired results. I made about 40 exposures and these are the best of a bad lot. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks!

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6/30/2006 6:20:21 PM

Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Maybe it's just my computer, but I can't see the images. If the hummingbird is a fast flier, 1/2000s or higher might be needed. Also, especially at high zooms and when they are moving all around, it is super difficult to get a hummingbird shot in focus. Best idea is to get close in and try to get the highest f-number and shutter speed you can, even if you need to bump the ISO.


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7/2/2006 3:14:18 PM

Robyn Mackenzie
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2005
  Hi Irene,
May I suggest that you check out Janine Russell's superb hummingbird images - they're the best I've ever seen. Perhaps she would be willing to share her secrets! :o) Robyn

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7/2/2006 3:16:49 PM

Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  I apologize: you don't see the images because I messed up loading them and they got separated from this post! They're someplace here.

I'm going to check out Janine's hummingbirds and hopefully I'll get some ideas and some help there. I have already figured out that I am not close enough and that I am using my lens at its maximum and it is simply not that sharp when pushed to the max. I'll keep working on this over the summer and will post my results - if I ever get anything good! Thanks everyone!


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7/2/2006 6:32:11 PM

Robert Hambley
  One of the tricks I have recently read for shooting hummingbirds is to get a remote laser trigger for your camera.

This is a small laser pointer that is set up across the predicted flight path of the bird (like right infront of a feeder or the hummingbirds favorite flower. When the bird breaks the beam, the trigger will open the shutter.

There are expensive and inexpensive versions...

I am working on hummingbird photos as well, with only a little success, mostly with a flash (with a better beamer attachment).

Good Luck!

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7/2/2006 8:18:49 PM

Laura E. Swan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/22/2008
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  Would anyone like to see a really precious youtube about a baby hummer that needed human help? :)

Copy then paste to Internet Browser.

Laura Swan :)

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5/23/2010 8:57:42 PM

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